Work has now started on remodeling the former youth facility in Maghull Town Hall to turn it into a Police Station and Maghull Town Council seems to think this is worth celebrating. But is it? My letter to the Champion newspaper puts the matter in context:-
Is there really much to celebrate because part of Maghull Town Hall is to become a Police Station soon?
In my view what we have lost far outweighs what we are going to gain. The accommodation that the Police are moving into was specifically remodeled into a youth facility from its original use as a sports changing room not so many years ago. What’s more that accommodation was shared with the Citizens Advice (CAB). So whilst gaining a Police Station within the Town Hall we have lost the last publicly funded youth facility in the area and the CAB.
What’s to celebrate, the match has sadly been lost 2-1.
Poster on Maghull Town Hall noticeboard recently
Having campaigned to bring a CAB facility to Maghull and backed the establishment of the innovative Youth Coffee Bar I am rather saddened by this turn of events, indeed it angers me.
These are the plans (above) that ensure that the youth facility can never be reopened. Surely using this space for a Police Station to serve the Sefton East Parishes part of the Borough (Lydiate, Maghull, Melling and Aintree Village) is a wrong-headed priority. Of course the area needs a Police Station but we also need a youth facility and a CAB.
There are plenty of vacant shop/retail units locally so why take the space that had been specifically converted as youth facility and occupied for that use until recently – it could have and should have been revived.
And to put the tin lid on it we are told that there are concerns about the rise in anti-social behaviour as though having a active attractive youth offering would not be part of the solution to that problem!
Click on the photos and the plan to enlarge them
My previous posting from July ’17 gives the background to this issue and is available via this link:-
At our Lydiate Parish Council meeting held on 26th September we decided to remove the top section, top floor, tube slide and carry out other alterations to this piece of play equipment whilst installing a new open stainless steel slide.
It’s rather sad to have to do this but anti-social behaviour and vandalism has bedeviled this particular piece of play equipment meaning that it will be less adventurous, when the work is completed, for the youngsters it was aimed at as originally constructed.
I got a call yesterday from a Maghull resident whom I have know for years, indeed he was once a councillor himself. He told me that his daughter had taken her children to KGV Park yesterday afternoon but was concerned about the behaviour of a large group of lads.
Maghull’s KGV Park and Meadows Leisure Centre
I was told that they were smoking some substance and generally behaving in an threatening and anti-social way. The lady went into Meadows Leisure Centre to raise concerns but I am told that she was told that the Police would not be interested/would not turn out to deal with the incident.
On returning home she was so concerned that she spoke to her Dad who in turn called me for some advice. I have raised the matter with a local Sefton Councillor (Pat O’Hanlon) for two reasons. Firstly, I think that staff in the Meadows Leisure Centre should report all such incidents to the Police no matter how they feel the Police will react to them because doing so builds up a picture of the problems. Not reporting them means the Police don’t even know about them.
Secondly the Sefton Councillor will raise the concerns directly with the local Police Inspector and will be seeking knowledge of how the Police are dealing with ASB issues around that part of Maghull.
Sadly, I then drove past the park this morning and I noticed that hazard tape was across the bus shelter that backs onto the park. Shattered glass panels seem to be the problem and were they related to the unreported ASB issues? We will probably never know the answer to this but clearly Maghull’s KGV Park needs some attention from Merseyside Police.
And another thing. How bright was it of Maghull Town Council to close the last significant public youth facility in the Town when they shut the doors on Maghull’s unique Youth Coffee Bar (on KGV Park) for the last time recently to offer tennis coaching as an alternative?
Michael Gove says that parents who fail to ensure their children turn up to school “ready to learn and showing respect for their teacher” will be punished through measures such as the docking of child benefit payments from parents of habitual truants.
The Daily Telegraph, Page: 12-13 The Independent, Page: 4 Independent I, Page: 8 Daily Mail, Page: 10 Daily Mirror, Page: 19 Yorkshire Post, Page: 10
The principle has some merit because parents should suffer the consequences of their children’s behaviour. Oddly, the day before reading this news item from the LGiU I had been discussing such issues with my fellow Lib Dem Maghull councillor Andrew Blackburn.
Our discussion had been more associated with youngsters involved in ASB and crime but a similar principle applies. Our concern is that when the Police, for example, take a youngster home who has been up to no good in their community some parents can at times show a complete lack of interest in what their children have been doing and the consequences of it.
In such circumstances our view is that the parents need to suffer consequences themselves so it forces them to know what their children are doing and to moderate their behaviour. But we feel the fining parents is not likely to be effective and have come to the conclusion that parents who do not make an effort to control and discipline their children (and indeed to get them to school regularly) should have to do some form of community service.
A Freedom of Information request has found that some of the country’s biggest police forces reported a rise in the number of animals seized under the Dangerous Dogs Act last year. The figures come as an amendment to the Anti–social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act comes into force tomorrow enabling owners to be prosecuted for dog attacks on private property. An opinion piece in The Daily Telegraph questions whether the new rules will be adequate.
In today’s Daily Mirror Page: 17, The Daily Telegraph Page: 19, Daily Express Page: 30
Having been bitten by a dog whilst delivering leaflets (the person responsible for the dog was taken to Court by Sefton Council and received a fine) and knowing others who have been it is high time that owners were made to take responsibility for their dogs. No ifs no buts, your dog is your responsibility and if 99% of dog owners can act in a responsible way those who choose not to have to take the consequences.
The BBC has the story:-
With thanks to the LGiU for this story.